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saying good-bye to the pope benedict xvi. his resignation shocked the world. this is the last televised event before the soon to be former pope departs the vatican for his summer residence at castel gandolfo. >>> good morning. pope benedict xvi will spent the final hours of his pope with the cardinals. nbc's anne thomp soj is live at the vatican. let's start with the meeting with the cardinals, first, what is going to happen there? >> what will you see, mara, the dean of the college of the cardinals will welcome the cardinals to the vatican, officially do that, then pope benedict will come in and he'll be greeted by each of the cardinals. there are about 100 cardinals here and the greetings will not be long. each one will come up, kneel before him and kiss his ring. but what is interesting is that perhaps, somewhere in this 100 people could be his successor. and it will be -- you know, people, vatican watchers will be watching very closely to see if there any kinds of signs or signals or favoritism to one of the possible successors or another. you know, people will being looing at this
benedict's legacy, that he has changed potentially of how we look at the papacy, how those cardinals that go into conclave view the papacy in viewing the position that one would hold for life. >> it may be kind of a water shed, setting a new precedent. but i think one of the things that's important to realize is that even though this decision is so new, and it's so bold and it took so much courage and strength to make the decision, it actually reiterates and confirms a truth about the papacy that we have always held in the catholic church that. the papacy was really an office that was established by jesus christ. it doesn't belong to the man. it's not about the man who's the pope. it's about an office that was established by god in order to bring to help the church have unity and to guide the church throughout the tum multis of history. there's been a lot of tumultuous periods in the history of the church. but by making this statement or making this move, this decision, the pope is reminding us, well, it's not the pope that runs the church. it's really god. we really believe that the
benedict divests himself us as he leaves the papacy, that ring, and all of the ring before will be destroyed. >> destroyed using a silver papal hammer and there will be no ring until the conclave and the election of a new pope, it was very interesting that here in new york our cardinal dolan said that he and other cardinals will sing a psalm as they file into the sistine chapel. and is that something that's typical, liz, is that traditional, or is that unique to this conclave? >> i think in particular, these psalm of pent nance is part of the lenten a framework. but, also, it's part of the sistine chapel proper. indeed, as you look at the ceiling, the very last images the very last prophet, then you get to that resurrection of joan in the center. it's fitting for the time, it's fitting for the space and it's fitting for this particular occasion as well. >> let me bring ann thompson back in. you were saying earlier that the pope won't do what's traditional at many of these audiences which is to allow a number of faithful to kiss the ring and receive the blessing. he has deci
on "andrea mitchell reports" live pictures from vatican city. where pope benedict xvi shocked the world today and some of his closest advisors announcing he will step down as the leader of the 1.2 billion roman catholics at the end of this month. he will be the first pontiff to abductate in 719 years. >> today signing a lack of strength. the pope said i have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted me. reactions are pouring in. >> i think pope benedict xvi legacy is his engagement of faith with the modern world. >> i feel particular -- a particular bond with him and a note of sadness, to be honest with you. on the other hand, my appreciation for him, which was already high, is enhanced a bit because with the sense of realism that he has such an esteem for the office of the successor of st. peter, which is what the pope sshg the bishop of rome, the successor of st. peter, he says, you know, i may not be up to it now, and perhaps i can best serve jesus and his church and his people by stepping aside. i have to admire him. >> and here at home one day ahead of p
the successor to pope benedict after that shocking decision yesterday to step down. and another big story we're following is back at home, because the president is putting the finishing touches on the first state of the union speech of his second term. and we'll have a lot more on that coming up in this hour. but this morning, we are starting to get new information about pope benedict, and particularly about his health. decisions that may have played into his shocking announcement to abdicate. for example, we now know this morning, the pope has had a pacemaker for some time and actually had a minor operation to replace its batteries three months ago. we're also hearing for the first time about a fall he took while he was on a trip to cuba in mexico. just hours after his announcement, this video circulated. you can see it shows lightning striking st. peter's basilica, maybe leading some catholics to wonder if it was some sort of sign from above. a sign of what, that's also a source of speculation here. i'm joined by elizabeth lev here in rome. good to see you. >> great to be here. it's a real
, breaking news. pope benedict is abdicating, something a pope has not done in over 700 years of the the vatican saying this has nothing to do with outside pressures. [ speaking foreign language ] >> as you hear there, the pope speaking in latin to a meeting of vatican cardinals saying he will step down effective as the leader of the world's -- the 85-year-old pontiff saying his strength is no longer adequate. this news took fearly everyone by surprise, including the archbishop of new york, cardinal dolan. >> i'm as startled as the rest of you and anxious to find out exactly what's going on. >>> other reactions italy's prime minister saying he's greatly shaken by the unexpected news. >>> and british prime minister david cameron said he will be missed as a spiritual leader for millions. >>> and from angela merkel -- he had to make a difficult decision. just some of the reaction that's coming in today. joining mess is rome bureau chief claudio lavagna, and george weigel from washington. claudio, i want to start with you. we have part of the pope's statement. in it he said that b
by the pictures of the extraordinary affection for benedict xvi, and i think he'll return it to the crowd and thank them. i think he'll acknowledge the great universality of the church. i would expect there to be strong spiritual words from this man today. >> people who have been around the pope the last several days describing his manner as serene. as someone who saw him on ash wednesday, both in audience in the morning and the ash wednesday mass in the evening, that's exactly how he looked to me. he's not someone who wants a lot of attention or prone to flashy good-byes, but do you think we'll see some emotion from this pope today? >> chris, pope benedict's serenity comes from a mature mind, well formed spirit, a man of real spiritual discipline, great student of the bible. on his day of resignation, he said jesus christ is the real leader of the church, the true ruler of the church. i suspect he'll say something of that today. in addition to what is an energetic atmosphere, an unsettled atmosphere. the church is moving into uncharted waters beginning at 8:00 tomorrow night. and while i
. today, stunning news from the vatican. i wonder if god was surprised to learn pope benedict is stepping down. >>> i'm s.e. cupp. millions of americans captivated by the search of a successor. the picking a new pontiff. >>> i'm steve kornacki. president obama has tossed out the old olive branch. coming up, a man who himself helped write four state of the union addresses explains who us how it takes shape. >>> i'm krysa tal. should the president go big by thinking small? it's monday and you're in "the cycle." >>> after having repeatedly examined my conscience before god, i have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the petrine ministry and the pope abdicated with only eight years on st. peter's throne shocking the 1 billion catholic faithful around the world. the's not a papal abdication in more than 700 years and surprised the close est adviser today. he's a theological conservative with strong positions against homosexuality, women priests and the use of contraceptives. the last day in the vatican is february 28th.
on quicken loans. >>> good morning. it has not happened in more than 700 years, this morning pope benedict xiv announced he will resign, saying he doesn't have the strength to go on. it shocked even new york's cardinal timothy dolan. >> i'm as startled as the roast of you, except for prayer, i don't know what else to do. i'll await instructions like everyone else. >> the 85 years old leader will step aside february 28th. the vatican says they hope to elect a new pope by easters. the pope made the announcement in latin, saying, quote, after having repeatedly examined my conscience before god, i have come to a certainly that my strengths are not -- the pope's declining health has been an issue. he goes to and from the altar on a moving platform, so he doesn't have to walk down the long aisle. sometimes he using a cane. his brothers says the doctors told hi not to take any more transatlantic trips. >>> he is also an nbc vattian analyst. george, good to see you. you and i are in somewhat frequent contact, as you send out notes about what's going on, but did anybody really see this coming? i no
minutes, pope benedict xvi is expected to board a helicopter and leave the vatican for good. he also said he will pray for them as they choose a successor. joining me now father robert ber rain. and investigative journalnyist and daily beast intruder. 2:00 eastern time, the pope is going to read the first in 600 years to step down. talk to me about his legacy, father. >> part of the interpretation of vatican 2. both he and john paul ii saw their papacies an attempt to interpret vatican too properly. not so much a modernization of the church, vatican ii was an evangelical missionary council. to some degree modernizing to make the church a more apt meaning to that. hence the wide travel for example of john paul ii, hence the great teaching of benedict xvi. i think that's his major legacy. >> they're very different at least in their style and in their i guess pastor abilities in some way, although not very different philosophically. >> this has been a really unsuccessful papacy and the greatest single act of his papacy is that our church is in real trouble and i am not able to cope with the
church are going to be looking for a new pontiff after pope benedict announced yesterday he is stepping down. the decision stunned even his closest aides even though the 85-year-old hinted in the past that his age and waning strength could force him to resign. he was elected in 2005 and will stay on until february 28th. his plan to meet for that secret enclave to select a new leader. we have a report from vatican city. >> reporter: the day after the shocking announcement that he will resign on february 28th, more details are emerging about his decision. the vatican's own newspaper said that this decision was taken at least a year ago after his trip to cuba and mexico in march 2012. that's when the pontiff realized he's just too old and too weak to perform his duties as the holy father including, of course, long distance travel. while the speculation now is ripe whether there is any other reason behind his decision. in an interview in 2010 during the scandals that engulfed the vatican and the catholic church including the pedophilia scandal and later the butler scandal with him leaking d
church and new pope to be elect ed ined in the concave in the middle of march, and pope benedict resigning and first time in 600 years and enormous story. >> what about you? >> i learned that the last time the pope resigned, mike barnicle was about to get his driver's license. >> 1415 and let me tell you it was hard. >> well, it is like those flintstone cars that mike had to move the feet really fast. >> all right. well, very good, and pitchers and catchers today. this is the day you waited for. >> it looks like it out there. >> it has been a long and cold and lonely winter. >> little darling. we will see what happens. if it is way too early, mike, what time is it? >> well, if it is way too early, it is time for "morning joe" but now it is time for our old pal chuck todd. >> all right. take itway, chuck. >>> big breaking news this morning, pope benedict xvith announces he will step down at the the end of the month citing a lack of strength. the 85-year-old's historic decision makes him the first catholic church leader to leave office in 600 years. we could have a new pope by mid-
we are stuck in the stalemate. pope benedict xvi prepares to leave the vatican and his departure is over an hour from now. we will have the latest on his emotional farewell and what happens next in picking his successor. then back at home, the day at the supreme court over a challenge to the voting rights act. two big city mayors from states that could be affected by any changes. >> good morning from birmingham, michigan. it's february 28th, 2013 and this is chuck todd. >> i think you are a spartans fan. i saw green. i hope i'm not wrong. the end of an era to the catholic church. unprecedented in modern times. we are counting down to a pope's retirement. the final hours as pontiff. he spent his last day meeting with cardinals and pledging unconditional obedience to his successor. the arch bishop of new york was in the room and described the meeting on the today show this morning. >> we catholics call him the holy father. the italians call him il papa. to see him fragile and having what i consider to be a remarkably humble and courageous decision, it was very moving and a tender m
linguist. we've become accustomed to it with john paul and with benedict. now it's pretty much expected of him. i think that's right what liz said about him, the father quality of the pope. that's a great advantage to have. >> and as you also look at him -- and he looks like an 85-year-old man, and you realize the stress that must have been on him, certainly in the run-up to this and the decision that he finally decided to make. but just the wear and tear of preparing. we know that yesterday he had something of a down day. there's packing to be done. there are papers to be gone through. there are decisions to be made. and he will be going to castel gandolfo, which is the summer residence of the pope, where he will stay until a more permanent residence is finished. they have been doing renovations on the old monastery on the grounds of the vatican. he's someone, liz, who really -- it's not a job that he can go home at 5:00, and he puts his little time card in, and it ends. this is a man who for the last eight years, when most people would want to be retiring -- and, ghiin fact, he planne
>>> benedict xvi becomes the first pope to abdicate in 700 years. >> his final day begins with a meeting with the cardinals who lined up one by one to say their personal good-byes. as the pope pledged unconditional obedience to his successor. >> we catholics call him our holy father. he is like the papa, the daddy of the family, and to see this gentle, learned, lovely holy man, to see him very fragile, to see him having made what i consider to be a remarkably humble and courageous decision, it was very moving. it was a very tender movement. >> pope benedict then left the vatican by helicopter to begin his retirement at castle gondolpho where emrerjed a while ago to greet well wishers who have gathered in the paizza. piazza. the papal summer retreat will be benedict's temporary residence. he will be watching from the sidelines as the cardinals begin the task of choosing a new leader for the catholic church. also in rome today secretary of state john kerry meeting for the first time with syrian rebel leaders to announce a major shift in u.s. policy, but is it enough? for the
confirm. >> pope benedict is going to be stepping down as head of the catholic church. he apparently made this statement within the past few hours in latin. during a small canonization event saying he doesn't have the strength anymore. once again, pope benedict will be resigning as head of the catholic church. we'll have much more on this story as the details come in. we are told that this will be happening fairly rapidly. >> they're talking about february the 28th. that he'll be stepping down. and of course, it was pope benedict who stepped in and became pope after pope john paul ii, the iconic pope of the 20th century, stepped down. of course, pope john paul ii had been pope since 1979. and so, of course, his impact felt not only in the religious world but also the political world. pope benedict, though, never really, of course, given the chance to emerge from the shadows. and it seems that for a good bit of his time, he was dogged by allegations that came through the child abuse scandal throughout certainly before his reign. he was constantly being dogged by questions regarding that. b
and msnbc contributor jonathan kapart of the washington post. pope benedict xvi is doing what no pope has done in 719 years. he has decided to ab -- he was elevated to the papacy after the death of pope john paul ii. news of this is reverb rating around the country and around the world. nearly one quarter of the united states, 74 million americans, are catholic, and worldwide there are 1.1 billion members of the church. >> encompassing a range of issues from contraception to policy. the timing of the announcement comes as a surprise. just two days before ash wednesday, which marks the start of the lentin season, the holyist period on the catholic calendar. joining us from washington, the host of msnbc's "hardball" chris matthews, and contributor and washington post columnist e.j. deon. chris, my colleague, the light in the darkness on many things political. >> right. >> what do you make of this announcement coming as it does two days before ash wednesday? it seems like a major surprise. to what degree do you think the catholic church will seize on this as a moment to pivot? >> you may thi
, of course, but nobody has done it since 13th century. well, the pope benedict xvi said it two years ago. if i feel like my strength or he kept it general, if a pope doesn't have the strength to carry on to perform his duties, it is very important duties for the 1.2 billion catholics around the world, he should step down. it's something that nobody's even considered in modern times. even john paul 2 who was much more ill or much more tired looking and ill, of course. he was very ill than pope benedict xvi looks and he said i had enough of this and just going to retire and read and live a spiritual life until the end and leave it with somebody younger and stamina. who that guy or pope will be, we don't know yet. we'll know soon. >> all right. thank you very much, claudio. let's bring in nbc news vatican analyst george wigle and father thomas at georgetown university. gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us. george, you have been on air all pretty much throughout the day. your initial reaction to this news, especially knowing what the pope said two years ago? >> i wasn't surprised at t
... and launch your dreams. at legalzoom.com we put the law on your side. >>> pope benedict xvi will live out his final days in vatican city as he relinquishes his thrown. cardinals around the world will gather to determine who will succeed him. what direction will the church go in let's ask nbc news vatican analyst who's in roam for us. george, i want to dive right in because i know we have got a delay to worry about. most people know the role of the pope as the spiritual leader among catholics, but of course his other job is to proselytize and grow his flock. if you look around the landscape of global catholicism, you see that catholicism is very important in parts of europe, south america and south africa. should that be a consideration in choosing the next pope, finding someone who might be able to grow the flock in area where is catholicism is least represented? >> reporter: first of all the church is actually in very bad shape in a lot of western europe. and what we need, i think, what the church needs, is a pope who wherever he comes from is such a radically converted disciple of jesus cri
message from the pope as 150,000 people packed st. peter's square to witness history before pope benedict steps down tomorrow. >>> tackling gun violence. the father of a sandy hook victim. >> it's hard to be here to talk about my son, but i have to. i'm his voice. i'm not here for the sympathy and a pat on the back as many people stated down in newtown. i'm here to speak up for my son. >>> at the pentagon, chuck hagel finally takes over as defense chief. >> i will do everything in my power to be the kind of leader that you expect and you deserve. also, the kind of leader the country expects and deserves. >>> john kerry takes paris. [ speaking foreign language ] >> not bad at all. good day, i'm andrea mitchell in washington in english today. the historic voting rights act could be in danger as a number of supreme court justices overturned the 1965 law. nbcs justice correspondent pete williams joins me now from the supreme court. pete, from the arguments today, what is your impression of what way the court might be moving? >> well, you know, the court didn't come with a blank slate. four ye
jansing in for tamron hall. following the resignation of pope benedict xvi. the man who will in a minute no longer lead the church. this is his temporary home. we expect to see something that's always followed the death of a pope. the swiss guard both beloved tradition and entrusted with the very real job of protecting the pope will stand down. once he is no longer pope, their job is done. and they will await the election of a new pope. covering this historic event along with me, claudio lavanga is live. also with us, elizabeth lev and father john bartunic, author and priest based in rome. claudio, a crowd gathered as we saw earlier today when the pope came out on to the balcony and saw him publicly as pope for the last time. >> reporter: that's right. that's right, chris. there are still people here to witness that historic moment that will mark the real end of the pontifficate of pope benedict xvi. the church bells started to ring. take a look at you are at that door. the summer residence of the pope. those doors in literally 30 seconds or a minute are going to close down. you can see
that pope benedict xvi would step down at the end of the month. only a handful of popes have renounced their office. pope benedict xvi is the first to resign in 600 years. when benedict became the pope in 2005 he was 78 years old. now at 85 age seems to be the reason for his resignation. speaking in latin on monday the pope said quote after having repeatedly examined my conscience before god i have dome the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the petrine. benedict's successor faces several challenges both in the u.s. and around the world. seminary enrollment in the u.s. has fallen at a staggering rate also in europe. church attendance is down. the church's center of gravity has moved to africa and the church works through the legacy of widespread cover-up of rape by priests a cover-up that revealed institutional failures. given all this how exactly should we judge pope benedict's brief papacy and what's next for the world's largest and oldest institutions. i have to say, i was raised in the church, i was baptized in the chu
. >>> pope benedict xvi breaks centuries of tradition and shocks the world with his sudden resignation. tonight the director of the acclaimed hbo documentary "mea maxima culpa" joins me for exclusive reaction. >>> we'll have the latest on the largest manhunt in california as the largest manhunt in history continues. >>> plus, dick cheney. sit makes sense? >>> roger ailes is making accusations of racism. >>> an unhinged nra board member, ted nugent, is making an appearance in the chamber for the president's state of the union address. >> if barack obama becomes the president in november again, i will either be dead or in jail by this time next year. >> we'll tell you which member of congress invited him. good to have you with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching. every now and then in this business you get a feeling about a story. you know, we need to talk more about this. there is not enough conversation about what is going on here. and i want our audience to grab these numbers tonight because a lot of things can happen between now and march 1 that aren't good for the economy. i want
responded to that in a remarkable way. benedict xvi thought it wouldn't play out that way and he was not going to hold the stage simply to hold the stage. he was going to make a humble act of acceptance of what he believes is god's will. >> is he making the decision about when the conclave will start? there are a lot of people who will wait the 15 days. normally it would be a period of mourning, but the pope has not died. >> i find this frankly ratherer puzzling myself. i'm told the decision was made by the dean of the college of cardinals and the guy who runs the church, if you will. it does seem to me to be rather a long time to wait to enclose the conclave. we have already had the three-week period before the pope officially steps down. >> it does seem like there a lot of decisions yet to be made. we were talking about the fact we know the pope is going to go for a short time. then literally straight down the street at the vatican, there's what is essentially a monetary and we're just learning that they have been doing some fix-it-up construction work since this summer. >> i w
originating in eggs, sprouts, and vine vegetables. >>> the vatican this morning is revealing pope benedict hit his head during last year's visit to mexico, but officials deny it had any significant role in his resignation. today the pontiff has been meeting with the pastors of rome's parishes. the conclave of cardinals will meet next month to pick benedict's successor. let's bring in the former director of the office of peace, justice, and integrity of creation for the sisters of charities. sister, good to see you. >> thank you. good to be here. >> let me start with this. as the cardinals get ready to pick the next pope, what issues would you like the next pontiff to address? in the "new york times" criticizing the vatican saying that they accused nuns of pushing radical feminist themes this from a year ago. there's also an issue of women in the priesthood. >> well, certainly the role of women in the church is a critical issue in the church today. and for the world today. and so i would whole heartedly support an expanded role and that expanded role based really on the dignity, the value, the
back in 2011. >>> this week marks pope benedict's last as head of the catholic church. he gave his final sunday blessing to a crowd of 100,000 followers yesterday in st. peter's square, saying that he will continue to serve god. his second to last public appearance as pope. he'll step down from the papacy thursday evening. the first pope to do so in 600 years but even in his final days as pope benedict can't escape the controversies that consumed much of his papacy. through a spokesman o'brien denies the charges is seeking legal counsel as always, why are you awake? shoot us an e-mail. or tweet us or me at bshactman >> still ahead on way too early -- the new york yankees suffer a major setback, curtis granderson hit by a pitch in his very first plate appearance. >>> plus -- >> i want to acknowledge steven spielberg. >> i want to thank canada. our friends in iran. >> he's a really jacked up. ben affleck might have been snubbed for best director nomination, but he had plenty to say when his film "argo" took best picture. >>> iraq launched a devastating schedule missile attack on saud
pictures from the vatican. pope benedict xvi is stepping down today. this morning the 85-year-old pontiff is spending a few moments exchanging words with the cardinals before he heads out on a helicopter to the papal residence south of rome. >>> all right, now to developments on the civil war in syria, roughly about an hour from now, secretary of state john kerry is expected to announce a u.s. policy shift when it comes to aiding the rebels. kerry is in rome for an international conference aimed at dealing with the conflict. for the first time obama administration plans to offer nonlethal assistance in syria. the reports say that the aid package could include body armor, communication equipment, night vision gear and vehicles. the white house however is stopping short of providing weapons. senator marco rubio of florida, has a slightly different take on how the u.s. should help. >> there are plenty of weapons in syria. they're coming from other countries. . what the opposition really needs is access to ammunition. one thing that we can consider, is if we can identify responsible groups, a
benedict as trying to have a big impact on the election because i really think that of the people who are possible to take on this role, there's very little difference on them -- among them on policy, on what would come next, on, as you said, things like cont contracepti contraception, order nation of women. all the people on the running would be quite orthodox leading the orthodox catholic church, so i really don't think that he's going to get very involved in -- >> you are so pessimistic here. i want to go to e.j. now because there's two good things that can happen. i'm a progressive on catholics issues and all kinds of issues. you are, too, e.j. i think melinda is too. we get a guy like scala who turns out to be more liberal than the pope things and second, some way out candidate we never heard of perhaps from italy, that's where the liberals come from, comes forth and offers himself up and we pull a big surprise because scala can't put it together. >> let's stipulate we would probably pick a nun. >> i spent a lot of time last week with my late aunt agnes' friends in the convent. i
efficient pick-ups. ♪ wireless is limitless. >>> pope benedict is shedding the ruby loafers to begin a life of prayer, while lawmakers in washington are praying that tomorrow doesn't sink them from the polls. it's thursday, february 28th, and this is "now." >>> joining me today staff writer for "the new yorker," msnbc political sxlois former dnc communications director the always classy karen finney. i'm going to have to do this for everyone now. msnbc political analyst and executive editor of msnbc.com, our favorite import from the united kingdom, richard wolf, and from bloomberg business week -- look at the corps there -- senior national correspondent josh green. just minutes ago the world saw pope benedict appear for the last time as head of the catholic church. the pope took a short helicopter trip from st. peters basilica to castle gondolpho, a hilltop villa. two hours from now the swiss guard will leave their posts, and benedict will cease to be pontiff. benedict announced his title will be pope ameritus and said he will not return to private life. the last pope to abdicate, 719 years
will be like for pope benedict xvi after he steps down. he will remain, quote, hidden to the world in retirement. indicating he will not have a public role once his resignation takes effect february 28th. joining me now, kate childs graham, columnist for the catholic reporter and an activist in the catholic movement. good morning. >> good morning. >> after learning of the pope's decision to resign, you sat down with a young progressive group of catholics. if there was an overriding theme to their thoughts, what was it? >> a pope who's a good learner. there's clearly issues about equality and we need a pope that's listening to that. >> when you say that transparency is a key issue to the next pope, what do you think that this pope hasn't done or even pope john paul ii that can change that perception? >> sure. i think that this pope certainly has had a papacy plagued with scandal and i think that was a clear signal to the next pope that their key task will be healing those divisions and that's going to come with more transparency and certainly transformation in our church. >> sister
in for me on friday when i was snowed in. when pope benedict xvi announced today that he would resign as pope, that he would abdicate the papacy, the move was greeted, frankly, with shock. that is something that has not happened in 600 years is happening right now. but it was also clear immediately that even though nothing like this has happened in 600 years, or 598 years to be exact, the catholic church nevertheless had a plan ready to go. even though no pope has resigned his seat since the year 1415, and this resignation announcement today from pope benedict was totally unexpected, despite all of that, there is apparently an agreed upon protocol for what happens in an instance like this. once pope benedict leaves the vatican on february 28th, the church says he will go live for a while in castle gandolfo, which is the pope's summerout house in a small town outside of rome. he will live at that castle while construction work is done on a cloistered monastery inside the vatican complex. then when the construction is done, he will move back into the vatican. and living in that cloister
and apple. >> less than a week until pope benedict 16 steps down. those who will choose the next pope are coming under scrutiny. we have the unfolding drama from anne thompson in rome. >> reporter: good morning, alex. pope benedict is back at work and appointed new bishops for mexico and at the valt ctican, are readying for huge crowds for final public events. in the meantime, many unanswered questions about the historic transition, such as who will lead the church? a week before pope benedict retires and there is still no clear front-runner to can you seed him. however, there is a long shot. new york's greg farruous cardinal timothy dolan. >> i will get anything to get you guys to church. >> reporter: praise in catholic circles to his perno apersona ad h h fightback on the obama plan for contracepti contraception. >> he's a known quantity and man of integrity. known as someone who can communicate the catholic faith positively. >> reporter: here in rome, another cardinal, roger mahoney, retired archbishop of los angeles is under fire for his role for moving and shielding priests. maho
benedict xvi gave the final blessing over the week. it was a message of the power of prayer. the pope said he feels that god is calling him to devout himself to medication and reflection and prayer and not abandoning the church in any way. the strong message in light of the changes to church law allowing conclave to begin earlier which may be just in time as britain's highest ranking catholic leader found himself confronted by allegations of sexual misconduct. he denies the accusations of inappropriate contact submitted by a priest and three former priests. this is a critical time for the catholic church. so let's spin on it. i think putting aside the pope's legacy which is a little bit more complicated and i'm actually going to write about that this week, just addressing these issues, it seems to me and i was reading cardinal o'brien's response to this and his statement and he writes i want to thank pope benedict for his kindness and courtesy. i will not join them for conclave in person. i don't wish media attention in rome focused on me. that's all fine and good and i don't really know i
have i i don't in italian across their chests. well, big news out of the vatican today. pope benedict xvi has now moved up the date of the conclave to gather to elect his successor. as another cardinal is still touched by the continuing sex abuse scandal. nbc's ann thompson joins me from rome with more details. first of all, the timing of the conclave, i know the rules allow the cardinals to move it up. what is he saying? when do you think this will begin? >> that's a good question, andrea. despite the pope's actions today, we still don't know when the conclave will exactly start. what the pope did today is give the cardinals the permission to move up the start date with this provico, that all the cardinal electors, all those cardinals under the age of 80 that will vote for the next pope have to be here to decide on the new start date. so the cardinals will start gathering on march 1st, the day after benedict retires, and perhaps they will take a vote, make a decision either march 1st or march 2nd. right now the early date seems to be march 10th, but it's just a guess. nobody is reall
honor. up next, we'll head live to rome, one of the final days of pope benedict continue to be overshadowed by scandal and what we're going to call him in his retirement. we had never used a contractor before and didn't know where to start. at angie's list, you'll find reviews on everything from home repair to healthcare written by people just like you. no company can pay to be on angie's list, so you can trust what you're reading. angie's list is like having thousands of close neighbors where i can go ask for personal recommendations. that's the idea. before you have any work done, check angie's list. from roofers to plumbers to dentists and more, angie's list -- reviews you can trust. i love you, angie. sorry, honey. i'm up next, but now i'm singing the heartburn blues. hold on, prilosec isn't for fast relief. cue up alka-seltzer. it stops heartburn fast. ♪ oh what a relief it is! humans. even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement an
this way. today about 150,000 people packed st. peter's square for pope benedict xvi's final public good-bye. he drove around the square in his popemobile and kissed a handful of babies much to the delight of the crowd and their parents. of course we know the cardinals will meet march 4th to decide the exact date of the conclave that will pick the next pope. let me bring in my guests. thanks to both of you for being with us. >> thank you. and thanks for getting up so early this morning to cover all of this. >> believe me, it was my pleasure. i had father barren with me. we listened to it together. you know, i said this this morning for people who weren't up at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. it was a very personal set of remarks from this pope. give us what you thought were the headlines here. >> you mentioned the pope kissing babies. i've been to many of those audiences over the years. he has never done that. in his talk he mentioned that he is the papa, the father of the catholic family. so i saw a line between what he did on the way in and the talk he gave which you're right was very per
by pope benedict's surprise announcement he's resigning. this hasn't happened in six centuries. it is creating shock waves even from the sky. lightning hitting st. peter's about a zilicca last night after the news broke. we have a reporter live in vatican city this morning. good morning. >> reporter: a day after the shocking announcemen by pope benedict that he'll resign, more details remerging about that decision. the vatican's own newspaper says that decision was taken months ago, right after his trip to mexico and cuba in march 2012. that's when the pope realized he was too old and too weak to just perform the duties of a pontiff including, of course, transatlantic trouble. what's going to happen now? february 28th at 8:00 in the evening rome time he's going to stop being the poem and he won't have any more powers over the catholic church. he'll then retire to the summer residence of the pope. and when a new pope is elected hopefully right before easter, then he'll retire to a life of spirituality to a closer convent inside vatican city. >> thank you so much. >>> turning now
. >>> pope benedict is presiding over what is believed to be his final mass on this ash wednesday. nbc's chris jansing is live on phone now inside the vatican where the general audience is listening to pope benedict. good morning. >> good morning. i just seconds stepped out from that audience. i can tell you when the pope made his appearance, the reaction was absolutely ecstatic. he walked without help to the chair and now for several minutes has been reading a statement which is traditional at these audiences saying that he decided to step down for the good of the church and thanking people for their prayers. this is the first of two appearances later today will be the mass which will be held at st. peter's. typically it is held at a much smaller church in rome. this is the really last important day in the church calendar where he'll preside as pope before stepping down on february 28th. the timing, we are told, part of his own plan is that he would like to have a new pope in place in time for easter. but the pope making his final appearance as you're able to see from rome. i can tell
benedict's sendoff have the faithful on their feet. >>> bloomberg's latest target. >>> plus, the world's largest airline, one billion rides around the world. >>> a skier with a wildly exciting back flip. we'll give ut back story. good morning. 4200 passengers are hoping to set foot on dry land this morning after a disaster at sea. carnival's triumph cruise liner lost power sunday causing it to become stranded with little food and fewer working bathroom. jay gray is live in alabama where the ship is set to dock. jay, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, to you. yeah, it's been described by passengers as a difficult and disgusting trip, one that should end this afternoon as the ship is pulled into the cruise terminal here. a third tug boat joined the crew pulling the cruise liner toward this dock. >> we've been doing a lot of work to activate the terminal again. we've been doing a lot of logistics, security as well as trying to make this experience one that won't be come better so many for the passengers. >> reporter: more than 3,000 passengers have suffered through a lack of food, a
as the next pope. with just days left until pope b benedict leaves, church law dictates that the conclave to elect the new pope be held no fewer than 15 days after the sitting pontiff's departure. >>> here's the latest from overseas regarding oscar pistorius, he is the owe almoly runner. he is cancelling all future races as he is behind bars. pistorius maintains his innocence as new evidence is collected from the scene. >> reporter: for oscar pistorius, another day from jail brought visits from his sister, a local preacher. >> he was starting to cry, i came to pray with him. >> reporter: also his agent. >> my visit was in a professional manner to discuss his career, and the plans we had made this year. also to visit him as a friend and give him moral support. >> reporter: the press here has been overflowing with every detail they can find. newspapers quote police sources saying they believe reeva steenkamp was first shot in the bedroom and then through the bathroom door, that he apparently broke through to try to help her. that a cricket bat is considered a key piece of evidence. there's
with advanced stain blocking, only at the home depot, and only $31.98 a gallon. >>> this week, pope benedict the xvith shocked the world with the announcement that on february 28th, he is going to become the first pontiff in nearly 600 years to step down as the leader of the catholic church. pope benedict's resignation c n coincides with the beginning of lent, the 40-day period of self-denial and repentance in which the catholics reflect on the teachings of christ. the pope will be replaced by the end of lent, and no later than easter sunday, so it is important that the cardinals tasked with finding a new pope and leader of faith. my next letter going to the pope. dear, cardinals, it is me, melissa. i remember being taught by a priest from south africa and i sat alongside people from south africa and i remember lay women from the north side of chicago and then i appreciated the global inclusiveness of the church and despite the differences we shared a genuine engagement of catholicism for social change. as you know, catholicism goes beyond those who hold the reins in vatican city, and the g
. >>> a huge turnout at the vatican today as pope benedict blessed the faithful overlooking st. peter's square. cardinals will vote for a successor. now we may see white smoke rising from the sistine chapel earlier than expected. >> reporter: alex, 50,000 people came to hear the pope. double the size from last week. this is the first pope in modern history to resign the post. he spoke in six languages and thanking them for prayers and support and adding in his german, that these were difficult days. the crowd in turn responded with respect and affection. in rome, where there is no shortage of must-see attractions, suddenly pope benedict is the main stay. this crowd was worthy of a rock star. his exit from his last public mass on ash wednesday turned churchgoers into paparazzi. the season of lent is now a celebration of the 85-year-old pontiff. the hottest ticket in town benedict's final audience on february 27th, the day before he steps down. 35,000 people have already requested free tickets says the vatican. but this extraordinary step creates an extraordinary problem. the church will have tw
benedict is number one on everyone's list. today he delivered his weekly prayer from his balcony just as he has for nearly eight years but this crowd was worthy of a rock star. his exit on ash wednesday turned church goers into paparazzi. the solemn season of lent in vatican city is now a celebration of the 85-year-old pontiff. the hottest ticket in town, benedict's final audience on february 27th, the day before he steps down. 35,000 people have already requested free tickets, says the vatican. but this extraordinary step creates an extraordinary problem. the church will now have two living popes. >> there are lots of stories -- >> reporter: author george weigel is an nbc analyst. >> technically there are not two popes. he ceases to be pope at 8:00 p.m. february 28th. there has never been a bishop of rome for 1700 years. i think he will make that work because he will simply retire into the deep background and not be seen in public. >> reporter: in meeting with rome's priests benedict said once he steps down he will remain hidden from the home and will live in this renovated monastery and c
between 15 and 20 days after pope benedict steps down at the end of the month. the vote could be held earlier than planned. joining me now from rome, nbc news vapt cannon list george weigel. it is very good to see you. as we get to the process of selecting the new pope, how soon can that begin and do you hear these reports as well that it may go earlier than expected? >> i do. i prankly think that's a very wise idea. the 15 to 20-day provision in the current constitution that govern it is election of a pope, was created to allow time for a i did any tied funeral mass, a period of mourning for the deceased pope, and a set of meetings among the cardinals and then the enclosure of the conclave. of course, there is no funeral this time. so when the seat becomes vacant at 8:00 p.m. rome time february 28, i would imagine, indeed i would hope, that about a week would pass before the conclave would be enclosed and the voting process would begin. this is simply a matter of amending the apostolic constitution which is the pope can do or he can assign the authority to the dean of the college of
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